August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, July 1, 2013

White Clay: Oglala President Brewer's call for support

Published on Jul 1, 2013
Oglala Sioux tribal President Bryan Brewer Sr put a call out to the Lakota Nation to come together and support his efforts in stopping the sales of alcohol right next to our reservation, he had many support and here in this video he gives us a few short words.

Zapatistas Marcos 'Our teachers will not be present' Native people taught the way

June 2013.
To the adherents of the Sexta in Mexico and in the world:
To the students of the Little Zapatista School:
Compañeros, compañeroas, compañeras:
The truth is that I think you will find, in your classmates at the little school, something of the best of this world.
But you will also miss, once you are in these lands of resistance, the presence of others who are and have been very important for us as Zapatistas. They are those who have always accompanied us, guided us, and taught us with their example, but who are not, just like many others in every corner of the world, from the EZLN. Some are part of the Sexta, some part of the National Indigenous Congress, and many more have built their own “houses” (organizations) but nevertheless walk the same path that we do. All of them are, in some way or another, participants in our advancements, as great or modest as these may be.
Only we are responsible for our errors and failures, which have not been small or few, .
We tell you this because perhaps you have asked yourself how or by whom we were taught to resist, to struggle, to persevere.
And most importantly, perhaps you will ask yourself why, at the little school, the native peoples of Mexico and the world—particularly those of Latin America—will not be at your side as fellow students.
The answer is simple: because they are and have been our teachers.
Thus those who came first, whose blood and pain built the modern world, the originary peoples, will not be present.
Neither the indigenous peoples nor their most representative organizations will be your classmates.
We didn’t invite them to the little school
Perhaps you are asking yourselves if we have gone crazy, or if this is some kind of dirty trick—politician-style—to supplant the Indian peoples and present ourselves as THE indigenous people par excellence.
But no, we simply didn’t invite them because we have nothing to teach them.
Could we teach the Indian peoples what it means to be treated as a stranger in these lands that were ours long before the world would begin that twisted telling of history from above, and where they imposed, in our skies, foreign flags?
Could we teach them what it means to be the object of ridicule for our clothing, our language, our culture?
Could we teach them what it means to be exploited, dispossessed, repressed, and disdained for entire centuries?
What could we teach to the brothers of the Yaqui tribe and the Mayo Yoreme about the theft of natural resources and what its necessary resistance means?
What could we teach to the Kumiai, the Cucapá, the Kikapú, the Pame, about what it is to be persecuted almost to extermination and nevertheless persist?
What could we teach to the Nahua, whose lands have been invaded by mining companies and corrupt government officials but who, without regard for the persecution and death that they suffer, continue their struggle to throw out those invaders who come under the flag of money?
What could we teach to the Mazahua and the Ñahñu about how it feels to be ridiculed for their dress, their color, their way of speaking, and instead of being shamed, paint the wind with sound and color?
What could we teach the Wixaritari about the destruction and dispossession of culture under the banner of “progress,” or about resisting under the guidance of their elders?
What could we teach to the Coca, the Me´hpaa, or the Teneke about not surrendering?
What could we teach to the Amuzgo about fighting for their rights?
What could we teach to the Maya about the violent imposition, theft, and criminalization by a foreign culture subjugating their original one?
What could we teach to the Purépecha about the value of the life in indigenous culture?
What could we teach to the Popoluca, Zapoteco, Mixteco, Cuicateco, Chinanteco, and Chatino about what it means to keep fighting even though everything is against them?
What could we teach to the Rarámuri about a quiet hunger and an invincible dignity?
And in the greatly pained Latin America:
Could we teach anything to one of our older brothers, the Mapuche people, about what it means to resist the continuous war of dispossession and extermination? About how to survive a long list of lies, aggressions, and ridicule painted all of the colors of the politicians above?
What could we, the Zapatistas, the smallest of them all, teach any of the originary peoples of Mexico, of the Americas, of the world?
What are they going to learn from us?
To resist?
Their very existence demonstrates that they should give classes in the great school that is the world, not receive them.
So no, we didn’t not invite the originary peoples to the little school for the simple reason that, in our history, we have been the clumsy students of these giants.
Of course we will send them the materials. But…
Are we going to teach them what it is to live in a community, to feel what it is to have another culture, another language, another way?
To struggle?
To imagine and create resistances?
In any case, we the Zapatistas still have much to learn from the Indian peoples.
So they will come after, and we will go learn from them.
And when the special gathering with them takes place [the Seminar Tata Juan Chávez Alonso scheduled for August 17-18], our best sounds will be played, the most vivid and diverse colors will adorn their path, and our heart will open once again to embrace them, our older brothers, the biggest and the best.
Because to honor those who teach is to honor the earth.
They will come to our homes, and with them we will share food and memory.
We will lift them above us.
Standing on our shoulders, they will rise even higher.
And we will ask them what they see.
We will ask them to use their eyes to teach us to look further, wider, deeper, higher.
To give us their word and let us drink from it.
To help us grow and be better.
We have always and will always offer them our greatest embrace.
So, our teachers will not be at the little school.
But don’t be sad. We are sure that these peoples, who have resisted until now every possible kind of attack, will know how to be generous and, when the time comes, will open their hearts to you, as we do now.
Because they taught us not to look at the noise that deafens and blinds.
Because they taught us not to listen to the colors of trickery and money.
Because they taught us to look at them and look at ourselves, to listen to them and listen to ourselves.
Because they taught us that to be indigenous was to have dignity as a home and a destiny.
Because they taught us not to fall but to rise up.
Because they who taught us the value of being the color of the earth.
Because they taught us not to be scared.
Because they taught us that to live, we must die.
Vale. Cheers, and silence so as to listen to the step that comes from deepest point of the world that the world is and has been.
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Mexico, June 2013
Watch and listen to the videos that accompany this text.
Sub-verso, with Portavoz, with the track, “Lo que no voy a decir” (what I’m not going to say), with honor and greetings. Long live the Mapuche People.
In memory of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, tzeltal indigenous member of the CNI and adherent of the Sexta, murdered in April of 2013 in Chiapas, Mexico. Here remembered by his compañeras and compañeros of the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, and by all of us.
Aho Colectivo, with Venado Azúl, Rubén Albarrán (Café Tacvba), Poncho Figueroa (Santa Sabina), Roco Pachukote (Sonidero Meztizo), Lengualerta, Hector Guerra (Pachamama Crew), Moyenei Valdés (Sonidero Meztizo), Valle González-Camarena, Memo Méndez Guiu and Moi Gallo in the musical part, Marcoatl, el Gallo, Benjamin Ramauge, Gaby Fuchs, Damian Mendoza and Jose Matiella, making it clear that WIRIKUTA DOES NOT SELL OUT, WIRIKUTA DEFENDS ITSELF!
Traducción del Kilombo Intergaláctico

Wikileaks: Snowden applies for asylum in these countries

Edward Snowden submits asylum applications

Tuesday July 2, 01:30 UTC

On 30th June 2013 WikiLeaks’ legal advisor in the Edward Snowden matter, Sarah Harrison, submitted by hand a number of requests for asylum and asylum assistance on behalf of Edward J. Snowden, the NSA whistleblower.
The requests were delivered to an official at the Russian consulate at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow late in the evening. The documents outline the risks of persecution Mr Snowden faces in the United States and have started to be delivered by the Russian consulate to the relevant embassies in Moscow.
The requests were made to a number of countries including the Republic of Austria, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, the Republic of Finland, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of India, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Ireland, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Nicaragua, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Poland, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Spain, the Swiss Confederation and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The requests join or update others previously made including to the Republic of Ecuador and the Republic of Iceland.
July 2, 2013: AP: As countries narrow, Venezuela and Bolivia possibilities for Snowden asylum
Also: Snowden's statement from Moscow July 1, 2013

Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow

Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow via Wikileaks

Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.
On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic "wheeling and dealing" over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.
For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.
I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
Edward Joseph Snowden
Monday 1st July 2013

Owe Aku 'Red Nations Rising' at Takini, Cheyenne River

Red Nations Rising

Moccasins on the Ground at Takini on the Cheyenne River Reservation
by Owe Aku International Justice Project 
July 1, 2013 In our effort to be true to our principal objective to preserve sacred water and protect Ina Maka for future generations, working within the protocol of our traditions and responsibilities must always be our first priority.  While journeying through the land after the Cheyenne River Moccasins on the Ground training, Obama made indications that he will not approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.  That would be a great victory.  However, our victory does not come until all sacred water is protected from tarsands, uranium mining, coal extraction and the myriad ways fat takers destroy Ina Maka.  

The Moccasins on the Ground Tour of Resistance, in conjunction with many allies and relatives, was on the move again with more non-violent direct action training on the Cheyenne River territory of the Lakota Nation from June 14th through 16th.  These educational and informative gatherings are designed to prepare people to protect water and their communities in opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline (“KXL”) proposed by Transcanada currently under review by the Obama administration (the first application was denied in January 2012).  

The Pipeline’s construction is in itself dangerous to communities along the route and the slurrying process is known to be hazardous to ground and surface water.  Dozens of “man camps” will be set up to house the thousands of Union workers imported to run the enormous equipment used to claw holes in the Earth.  These camps are reputed to bring prostitution, trafficking of women and children, violence, and deaths from equipment/truck drivers not experienced in operating big haul trucks in isolated areas. If the KXL becomes operational, the bitumen, which is what the tarsands oil is called, must be heated to over 150 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in the KXL pipes being 16 more times likely to rupture than regular crude oil lines.  This is no ordinary oil.  It contains dozens of toxic chemicals that are not only used in extracting oil from the rock but also in melting the bitumen to force it through the pipes.  It is not a question of whether or not the Pipeline will leak but rather when, where and how much will be leaked. Tantoo Cardinal, who was introduced by Debra White Plume and is on the frontline of resistance in her own homeland, talked personally about it:

“I am from the area around the Tarsands mine and I’m here to tell you the water is contaminated for at least 100 kilometers all around the mine site.  We are like the polar bears who are also being threatened by climate change because the ice flows they depend on get smaller and smaller; our territory shrinks from government and corporate assaults by the fattakers and we are left with less and less.”  (Tantoo Cardinal)
The oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas consisted of tarsands bitumen and to hide the destruction from the public and media, a news blackout was enforced by militarized police and national guard while a no-fly zone was enforced to make sure no photographs of the devastation were released.  This is just one of dozens of leaks that has happened.

The Moccasins on the Ground training in Bridger was on the traditional 1851 and 1868 treaty territory of the Lakota Oyate (called the Sioux Nation by the uninitiated).  Treaty status is recognized under international law as well as by the United States, although the US government is famous for the ongoing violations to all the treaties it has made with Red Nations as well as with other nations around the world.  The treaties identify the inherently sovereign land of the Lakota people and preserve that land for Lakota people to exercise a responsibility for protecting sacred water for future generations.  This is Lakota law and tradition.  

“I’m in South Dakota today, sort of a ground zero for the XL Keystone Pipeline, that pipeline, owned by a Canadian Corporation which will export tar sands oil to the rest of the world. This is the heart of the North American continent here. Bwaan Akiing is what we call this land-Land of the Lakota. There are no pipelines across it, and beneath it is the Oglalla Aquifer wherein lies the vast majority of the water for this region. The Lakota understand that water is life, and that there is no new water. It turns out, tar sands carrying pipelines are sixteen times more likely to break than a conventional pipeline, and it seems that some ranchers and Native people, in a new Cowboy and Indian Alliance, are intent upon protecting that water.”  (Militarizing Fossil Fuels in the East, Winona LaDuke with Frank Molley, see
The Pipeline will cross the territory of the Lakota Oyate for hundreds of miles.  Not only does it pass over the Oglala Aquifer, it crosses the Mni Wiconi Project which supplies drinking water to the Cheyenne River, Rosebud, and Pine Ridge Indian Reservations. 

“Our people are suffering way beyond their age.  Illnesses caused by poisoned water and the weight of the trauma from generations of suffering lie under the sicknesses that plague us.  This Pipeline is just one more step in their attempts to remove us from the land.” (Nina Washtay, Idle No More).
Non-violent direct action, the right to assembly and the right to free speech are all principles being employed by Owe Aku and its allies in an attempt to take action to protect sacred water which goes beyond proclamations, petitions and resolutions.  At Moccasins on the Ground a National Lawyer’s Guild attorney explained that rights normally reserved under the U.S. Constitution are not only threatened but have been virtually annihilated.  Under the Patriot Act any interference with state, local or national policy is considered an act of terror.  

“Twenty years ago this region was determined to be a national sacrifice area.  You cannot regulate the Pipeline.  All you can do is stop it but protection under traditional law or treaty law will not be from the courts.  It’s easy to define legal rights [for participants] in non-violent direct action:  there are none left.”  
As evidenced by the tarsands spill in Arkansas and the bombing in Boston, the militarized police force of the United States does not hesitate to use police-state policies to protect the corporations.  The training of Moccasins on the Ground is designed to instill discipline and a sense of responsibility in strategies for stopping the pipeline through the return of traditional values and decolonization.  The balance between speakers and hands-on training is what makes Moccasins on the Ground so effective.  As explained by several of the elders present, this is a spiritual movement based in the ancient Lakota tradition of relationships between human beings, plants, animals, water and rock.  In talking about a ceremony that closed the three-day training, Rocky Afraid of Hawk explained that:

“We are not allies.  We are relatives.  Allies may be together, but still apart.  In the Lakota way, relatives are with us.  The Hunka ceremony (the making of relatives) is not about individuals but about tiyospaye (the extended family).  This is the way we should think about what we are doing and how we should conduct ourselves to always be good relatives with each other and the water.”
Representatives of many Red Nations including the Nakota, Dakota, and Lakota peoples, Northern Cheyenne, Dine, Anishinabe, Cree, along with representatives from Protecting the Sacred, Tar Sands Blockade, Tar Sands Resistance Movement, Utah Tarsands Resistance, Lakota Media Project, Prairie Dust Films, Idle No More, and Colorado AIM, Barrio Warriors, and many other organizations, all participated in the event as well as the Hunka ceremony.

A water ceremony was held along the Cheyenne River, Lakota families from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe made their vow to protect their water and their people from the KXL. 

For more information or interviews with the principles, please contact:
Kent Lebsock
Owe Aku International Justice Project

Kent Lebsock
Owe Aku International Justice Project
Advocate for Lakota Treaties & Mother Earth

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